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Black Skimmer, St Marks NWR, Florida USA by Richard Higgins

Arriving at sunrise at St. Marks NWR, I drove down to the lighthouse to see what waterfowl and shorebirds were in the pond. The sky was very overcast with light breeze. I mounted my Nikon D810 on the tripod with a Nikon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.7x teleconverter which gave me a focal length of 850mm. I preset my camera settings to aperture of f/6.7, shutter speed of 1/2500 sec. and auto ISO.

After being there for about 30 minutes, I noticed two Black Skimmers flying over and circling the pond. I quickly grabbed my tripod and camera to start looking for a good location to get a could composition.

The two birds started skimming the surface of the water searching for small minnows and fish for breakfast. They flew several passes by me and I was able to fire-off 37 shots total before they flew off. I was very surprised and excited when I saw this shot with an almost perfect reflection in the water.

Camera Nikon D810
Lens Nikon 500mm f/4
Aperture f/6.7
S/S 1/2500sec
ISO 900
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About Author 


I'm a retired Wildlife Biologist and a part-time Pro Nature Photographer. Being retired, provides me with the tine I need to travel to some of the beautiful locations in the United States I always wanted to visit so I can photograph natures splinted beauty.

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